Tag Archives: Oregon

Christian couple loses appeal, must pay $135,000 for not affirming same-sex marriage

States with non-discrimination laws
States that force Christians to affirm and celebrate LGBT lifestyles

There’s been an update on the persecution of the Christian bakers from Oregon. They appealed their case to the Oregon Court of Appeals.

The Daily Signal has the latest news:

A husband-and-wife baking team must pay a $135,000 fine for declining to make a cake for the wedding of two women, Oregon’s second-highest court has ruled.

A three-judge panel of the Oregon Court of Appeals on Thursday upheld a decision by a state agency that led to the fine and forced Aaron and Melissa Klein to close their bakery.

The court ruled that baking wedding cakes is not “speech, art, or other expression” protected by the First Amendment. The judges said the state did not “impermissibly burden the Kleins’ right to the free exercise of religion” because it compelled the Christian bakers only to comply with “a neutral law of general applicability.”

Oregon law prohibits businesses from refusing service because of a customer’s sexual orientation, as well as because of race, gender, and other personal characteristics.

“We are very disappointed in the court’s decision,” Michael Berry, deputy general counsel at First Liberty Institute, which represents the Kleins, told The Daily Signal in a phone interview Friday. “I think that punishing people for their religious beliefs is … not American, and it’s wrong.”

“It does not matter how you were born or who you love,” one of the lesbians, Laurel Bowman-Cryer, said in a written  statement  following the ruling.

[…]After the Kleins declined in 2013 to make a cake for the wedding of Rachel and Laurel Bowman-Cryer, citing their Christian religious beliefs that marriage is the union of a man and a woman, they also faced protests that eventually led them to shut down their bakery.

[…]Berry, the First Liberty attorney, said his legal team is deciding how they will move forward, which could mean appealing to the Oregon Supreme Court.

How would same-sex marriage affect your marriage? That’s what proponents of same-sex marriage asked before forcing us all to participate in their gay weddings. The Christian bakers in question did not discriminate against individual gay people, they just didn’t want to be participants in a view of marriage that is unacceptable to any Bible-believing Christian. Marriage is important in Christianity. It’s a union of complementary male and female natures designed to provide children with male and female parenting.

If you’re living in one of the blue or purple states in the map above, then you are vulnerable to persecution by your state. It’s very important for Christians to be aware of where they live, and to whom they are paying taxes. I think husbands in particular need to be careful about what they study, where they work, and where they live, given the challenges that Christian families face from the secular state. Secular leftists are in love with their sinful rebellion, and morality makes no sense to them. We have seen many, many examples of people on the secular left using threats, coercion, vandalism and even violence, to get others to agree with them.

It’s worth remembering that we’re in this situation largely because pious Bible-oriented pastors have been taking a vacation from the moral issues of the day, e.g. – abortion and same-sex marriage. They see their role as feeling good and being liked. Using science and philosophy to train Christians about the case for pro-life and or the case for natural marriage is too much work. I guess they think that it’s better to just focus on proper theology for the 50th time in a row, and not say anything divisive about current events.

Couple fined $135,000 for declining to participate in gay marriage

States with non-discrimination laws
States with non-discrimination laws

How much does it cost to be an authentic Christian? You might think that in America, the land of religious freedom, that being a Christian would be free.

And you’d be wrong.

Here’s the story from Oregon Live.

Excerpt:

Oregon Labor Commissioner Brad Avakian on Thursday ordered the owners of a former Gresham bakery to pay $135,000 in damages to a lesbian couple for refusing to make them a wedding cake.

Avakian’s ruling upheld a preliminary finding earlier this year that the owners of Sweet Cakes by Melissa had discriminated against the women on the basis of their sexual orientation.

Bakery owners Melissa and Aaron Klein cited their Christian beliefs against same-sex marriage in denying service.

[…]Avakian’s final order makes clear that serving potential customers equally trumps the Kleins’ religious beliefs.

[…]The commissioner ordered the Kleins to pay $75,000 to Rachel Bowman-Cryer and $60,000 to Laurel Bowman-Cryer. His ruling may be appealed to the Oregon Court of Appeals.

In addition to the fine, there were other consequences for the Kleins:

The Sweet Cakes by Melissa car was vandalized and broken into twice. Photographers and florists severed ties with the company, eventually forcing Sweet Cakes to close the Gresham shop in September 2013. The business now operates out of the couple’s home in Sandy.

If that were not enough, Avakian also ordered the Kleins to not speak about the case in public:

In the ruling, Avakian placed an effective gag order on the Kleins, ordering them to “cease and desist” from speaking publicly about not wanting to bake cakes for same-sex weddings based on their Christian beliefs.

“This effectively strips us of all our First Amendment rights,” the Kleins, owners of Sweet Cakes by Melissa, which has since closed, wrote on their Facebook page. “According to the state of Oregon we neither have freedom of religion or freedom of speech.”

Compare that with a similar case from Canada, where a Canadian pastor who disagreed with homosexuality was also issued with a gag order.

This is why I always put such a high emphasis on using aliases and making education and career decisions that allow you to accumulate money for your legal defense. There was a time in this country when being a Christian was free. It is no longer that time. And most Americans are not going to lift a finger to protect us. We are on our own. You need to be careful with your money, to prepare for the day when you are fined $135,000 for the crime of acting as if Christianity is true.

Consider this verse, which is one of my life verses:

Luke 14:28:

28 For which one of you, when he wants to build a tower, does not first sit down and calculate the cost to see if he has enough to complete it?

I do not say this proudly. I am not as strong in my career or savings as I would like to be. But I am constantly meeting young men and especially young women who think that the Bible is giving them license to do whatever their heart is telling them, irrespective of stewardship. But we cannot afford to ignore stewardship of money any more. We are beyond doing what is easy and fun now. We are beyond doing what makes us happy now. Don’t expect that God will rescue you from a lack of prudence.

Previously, I posted something about what the Bible says about earning, saving and giving away money – featuring pastor Wayne Grudem. Do take a look at it with fresh eyes, now that this Oregon sentence is out.

Portland bar owner fined $400,000 for offending transexuals

Wow. Fresh on the heels of the Portland bakery closing comes this new story about a Portland bar closing.

Excerpt:

A North Portland bar owner is facing a $400,000 fine for discriminating against a transgender woman’s group.

The Bureau of Labor and Industries handed down the fine yesterday to Chris Penner, the owner of the bar formerly known as the “P Club.”

Last summer, one woman said they received a voicemail from Penner, who said they were not allowed to return because he didn’t want people to think he ran a “tranny bar.” In the voicemail, Penner claimed the group was hurting business.

“People think that A.) we’re a tranny bar, or B.) that we’re a gay bar. We are neither. People are not coming in because they just don’t want to be here on a Friday night now,” he said.

Under Oregon law, Oregonians may not be denied full and equal service based on sexual orientation. The law provides an exemption for religious organizations and schools, but does not allow private business owners to discriminate based on sexual orientation, just as they cannot legally deny service based on race, sex, age, disability or religion.

The fine is the first imposed under the 2007 Oregon Equality Act.

Since 2007, Oregonians have filed 11 complaints of unlawful discrimination in public places.

In addition to the massive fine, Penner also has to pay a $5,000 civil penalty.

The argument by radical gay activists is that free speech is less important their feelings of being offended. They don’t want to be offended by your disagreement/disapproval. And if they are offended then they have to threaten you and attack you and hurt you and hurt your business and hurt your career until you stop offending them. And everyone on the left thinks that this is fine.

I would expect moderate gays to be speaking out to defend the right of individuals to disagree and disapprove of behaviors that they don’t agree with, but I’m not seeing a lot of that.

Related posts

Christian-owned bakery closes after threats and harassment by gay activists

Todd Starnes reports on a troubling at Fox News.

Excerpt:

A family-owned Christian bakery, under investigation for refusing to bake a wedding cake for a lesbian couple, has been forced to close its doors after a vicious boycott by militant homosexual activists.

[…]Last January, Aaron and Melissa Klein made national headlines when they refused to bake a wedding cake for a lesbian couple.

Klein tells me he has nothing against homosexuals — but because of their religious faith, the family simply cannot take part in gay wedding events.

“I believe marriage is between a man and a woman,” he said. “I don’t want to help somebody celebrate a commitment to a lifetime of sin.”

The lesbian couple filed a discrimination with the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries and told their story to local newspapers and television statements.

Within days, militant homosexuals groups launched protests and boycotts. Klein told me he received messages threatening to kill his family. They hoped his children would die.

The LGBT protestors then turned on other wedding vendors around the community. They threatened to boycott any florists, wedding planners or other vendors that did business with Sweet Cakes By Melissa.

“That tipped the scales,” Klein said. “The LGBT activists inundated them with phone calls and threatened them. They would tell our vendors, ‘If you don’t stop doing business with Sweet Cakes By Melissa, we will shut you down.’”

The actions of the diversity activists were augmented with an inquisition by state government.

More:

To make matters worse, the Oregon’s Bureau of Labor and Industries announced last month they had launched a formal discrimination investigation against the Christian family.

Commissioner Brad Avakian told The Oregonian that he was committed to a fair and thorough investigation to determine whether the bakery discriminated against the lesbians.

“Everybody is entitled to their own beliefs, but that doesn’t mean that folks have the right to discriminate,” he told the newspaper. “The goal is to rehabilitate. For those who do violate the law, we want them to learn from that experience and have a good, successful business in Oregon.”

Let’s hope that those intolerant bigoted Christians learned their lesson not to offend anyone else by disagreeing with them and refusing to celebrate things that they disagree with. After all, Christians should be forced by the state to act like non-Christians in public.

Related posts

Hate crime: gay activists vandalize Mark Driscoll’s Mars Hill Church

From the liberal Washington Post.

Excerpt:

A satellite church affiliated with controversial Seattle pastor Mark Driscoll was vandalized early Tuesday (April 24) and a group calling itself the “Angry Queers” has reportedly taken responsibility.

Stained glass and other windows were broken at the Mars Hill Church, according to a post on the Facebook page of Pastor Tim Smith.

“Neighbors of the church reported seeing several young adults in black masks throwing large rocks into the windows,” a church news release said. “Police stated that a bank in the area was also vandalized in the same way and that they believe the vandalism was planned ahead of time, most likely by an activist group.”

On Tuesday, KPTV FOX 12 reported it had received an email from someone using the name “Angry Queers” and claiming responsibility.

Mars Hill Portland opened last October. During the first service, protesters gathered in front of the church and yelled obscenities at worshipers to speak out against the church’s stance on homosexuality.

Here are some things from the e-mails sent by the gay activist group that performed the attack:

The group that allegedly smashed up a Portland church hopes its “small act of vengeance will strike fear into the hearts of” Christian leaders who teach traditional sexual morality, according to an e-mail message the group released to the public.

A group calling itself “Angry Queers” has claimed responsibility for throwing baseball-sized rocks through nine church windows in Portland’s Mars Hill Church, including two 100-year-old stained glass panes.

Two versions of the e-mail have been sent to the media, one longer and slightly more incendiary than the other, but both apparently originating from the same group. In the longer version, the LGBT activists state they destroyed church property in the names of several local transgender people who have died, and “all other trans women” whose deaths they blame on “this cissexist, femmephobic, racist, andtransmisogynistic society.”

“Churches are a major contributor to the culture that deems trans women of color to be disposable, as not worth keeping alive,” the statement read.

The “brand of Christianity” taught by Mark Driscoll, pastor of the largest Mars Hill Church in Seattle, “crusades against the ‘feminization’ of Jesus,” the e-mail stated. “We angry queers are not fans of Jesus, but we have a problem with anyone who has a problem with femmes.”

The e-mail, which is peppered with foul language, berates the Q Center, a local LGBT activist organization, for engaging in a dialogue with the Mars Hill’s leadership. “What we have to say to the Q Center is this: F—K YOU, you don’t represent us. You are disgusting traitors who prioritize social peace and the bourgeois aspirations of rich white cis gay people over the more pressing survival needs of more marginalized queers.”

“F—k dialog with people who want us dead,” the e-mail read. “The only dialog we need with scum like Mars Hill is hammers through their windows.”

“We hope this small act of vengeance will strike some fear into the hearts of all of Mars Hill’s pastors, and warm the hearts of our friends and comrades (known or unknown). It may not get better, but we can certainly get even,” it concludes.

[…][A] commenter calling himself “Angry Queer” on a local homosexual website incited further vandalism, writing: “I hope some sexy, angry queers (like myself) smashed this s**t up and will continue to until Mars Hill cannot exist peacefully in Portland. There is no peace for queers — we are murdered, bashed and ridiculed every f**king day. To have some windows of a huge INSTITUTION THAT PERPETUATES AND BREEDS THE HELL WE LIVE IN EVERY DAY smashed is a small victory and a boost in morale.”

This sort of thing also happened recently in Australia, as well.

From the Newcastle Herald (Australia).

Excerpt:

Vandals attacked Wallsend Presbyterian Church last night in response to a message criticising same-sex marriage displayed on the building’s outside notice board.

The church on Nelson Street had updated its message board last week to read “Even tradies know you need both male and female joints to make a marriage”.

The front of the 1867 building, which recently received a $12,000 makeover, was defaced with messages such as ‘‘sexuality is not a choice’’ and ‘‘love thy neighbour not hate gays’’.

Reverend Dr Ian Copland said the sign was a play on words and he wanted people to talk about the issue being raised in federal parliament.

He said he has no regrets despite the outcome.

‘‘This is not going to stop me,’’ he said.

Two bills to legalise same-sex marriage were introduced in Federal Parliament this week.

‘‘It’s obviously a reaction to the sign but I have no malice towards the vandals,’’ Rev Copland said.

‘‘It only takes one or two cowards you can’t blame the whole homosexual community. That would be wrong.’’

This is not the first time the church has been attacked regarding its stance on same-sex marriage.

The signboard was vandalised about six months ago when the reverend posted a similar message.

How often does it happen? Is it common?

Here’s what happened to pro-marriage donors in California.

Excerpt:

Gay rights supporters, dressed in pink and black, stormed a Lansing, Mich., church during its services Nov. 9 throwing condoms, pulling the fire alarm and yelling such things as “It’s okay to be gay” and “Jesus was a homo.”

One media account said two lesbians then went to the pulpit at Mount Hope Church where they began making out in front of the congregants, which included children.

Police were called and the demonstration, sponsored by a group called Bash Back, ceased. The group is described as pro-homosexual and pro-anarchist. The group’s blog promoted its actions saying it was “targeting a well known anti-queer, anti-choice, radical right-wing establishment.”

[…]The incident is one of dozens reported in California and across the country in the aftermath of the passage of Proposition 8, which has prompted passionate protests nationwide. In California, cases of violence were reported even before the election. Post-election, the Mormon church has been a major target because its members donated millions to the cause.

Catholics, including the Knights of Columbus, have also been targeted for their support.

[…]Mormon temples in Los Angeles and Salt Lake City, as well as the Knights of Columbus headquarters in New Haven, Conn., were sent suspicious looking white powder, reminiscent of the 2001 anthrax attacks and scares.

At least eight Mormon buildings in Salt Lake have been vandalized with spray-painted epithets criticizing the church’s support of Proposition 8.

A group of young Christians with the Justice House of Prayer— meeting on a sidewalk for their weekly prayer session in San Francisco’s Castro district—had to be escorted out of the area by police, some in riot gear, as an angry mob turned on them shouting, “Shame on You,” blowing whistles and screaming profanities.

Marjorie Christoffersen, daughter of the owners of the Los Angeles restaurant El Coyote, left town after hundreds of protesters targeted her parent’s eatery because she made a personal $100 contribution to the Yes on 8 fund. Police in riot gear were called to restore order. Gay rights activists also began a campaign to post negative restaurant reviews online. The restaurant employs several gays and lesbians who said they were taken aback by the protests.

A Palm Springs news crew captured an unruly protest group ripping an oversized cross from a woman’s hands and then stomping on it. A reporter trying to interview the woman, Phyllis Burgess, about the incident had to move the woman to safety as the crowd encircled them while shouting.

Numerous blog sites reported that gay African-American men were the subject of racial slurs while trying to join the crowd in an anti-Proposition 8 protest. The men were targeted because exit polls showed a large amount of African-Americans supported Proposition 8. In one case a black man was warned to stay out of West Hollywood “if they knew what was best for them.”

The artistic director of a Sacramento theater was forced to resign his post after donors, ticket holders and others protested outside the theater because the man, Scott Eckern, a 25-year employee of the venue donated $1,000 in his personal money to the Yes on 8 campaign. In a separate case reported at press time, the director for the Los Angeles Film Festival resigned under pressure from gay activists for donating $1,500 to Yes on 8. Richard Raddon, who tried unsuccessfully to resign several days earlier but was blocked by his supportive festival board, resubmitted his resignation when the berating calls and e-mails failed to cease.

[…]A Carlsbad man was arrested Nov. 3 for punching two elderly neighbors in the face after they confronted him about trespassing on their property to place a No on 8 sign in front of their Yes on 8 sign.

On election morning, a Carlsbad jogger was also attacked and bitten by a dog when he tried to stop two men from stealing a Yes on 8 sign. Several weeks ago police in that same city arrested at least two people for stealing Yes on 8 signs.

In Fresno, a prominent pastor, who had campaigned publicly for Proposition 8, received credible death threats that also targeted the mayor, another traditional marriage supporter. The threats were deemed credible enough for the police department to assign officers to protect the men. The church was also targeted for vandalism.

In Modesto, a Protect Marriage volunteer received 16 stitches under his eye after a man tried to steal his Yes on 8 signs outside a local church where he was waiting to distribute them after Mass.

A week before the election, a San Jose couple, who posted a Yes on 8 sign in their front lawn, discovered that someone spray-painted “No on 8” on their car, their garage and the garage of their neighbor.

Also in San Jose, vandals painted the back window of an SUV with the words “Bigot Live Here,” with an arrow pointing to a house boasting a Yes on 8 sign.

In other areas of the state, cars were keyed, signs defaced and a block was thrown through the window of an elderly couple who displayed a Yes on 8 sign in their yard.

I have previously written about how the Human Rights Campaign gay rights group leaked the names and addresses of pro-marriage donors to the Huffington Post. In that post, I also list the corporations that support the Human Rights Campaign.